Arts Everyday Living: Happy Easter and Spring–Winslow Homer & the Tiniest of Chickens

Winslow Homer, A Sick Chicken, 1874, watercolor, gouache and graphite on wove paper, Collection of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon, National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

A Sick Chicken, 1874

American Artist Winslow Homer (1836-1910)

Can you see the baby chick, held so tenderly by the young farmer girl, her face shaded by a sunbonnet? Coming to the rescue of the tiniest member of the barnyard, she is intent on restoring its health and–hopefully–gifted in the art of healing as well. While below the mother hen waits anxiously with other members of her brood. All symbols of spring and rebirth, especially every Easter.

A Sick Chicken originally belonged to Winslow Homer’s friend and patron, Lawson Valentine and remained in his family through the succeeding generations. Homer often visited Valentine in the New York countryside, where this mixed media work of art was likely created.




In the public domain, courtesy of the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.

The National Gallery of Art does not endorse or approve use of the above image or acny of the material on this website. Nor has the National Gallery of Art participated in any projects utilizing the said image.

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